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Is my radiator coolant leaking?

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

There are many parts that keep an engine running properly.

The radiator is one of them. This component is critical, because it prevents the engine from overheating and keeps you from getting stuck on the side of the road.

How the cooling system works

In the cooling process, coolant flows through the radiator. Some of the heat disappears and the coolant flows back to the engine.

There are cooling fans that come on to pull air through the radiator to keep the air flow coming across the radiator. Some fans are belt driven while others are electric. The computers of vehicles with electric fans turn them on and off.

When the engine needs to heat up during colder weather, the computer will prevent the fan from turning on. In warmer months, the fan operates at a faster speed. 

Old Radiator.

Old Radiator

When to replace the radiator

You generally only need a new radiator if it’s clogged, there’s coolant leaking, the radiator is damaged, or the cooling fins have become bent and are preventing air flow from going through.

Oil coolers and transmission coolers that are sometimes built in the radiator leak, which leads to replacing the radiator.

Depending on how the radiators are made, some manufacturers are more prone to coolant leaking at the plastic end caps.

The radiators of some vehicles never need to be replaced.

Newer cars may need a new one if the plastic and metal components that are fused together don’t seal properly. As temperatures decrease outside, any cracks in the radiator are going to become worse.

There are a few symptoms you may notice when the radiator should be changed.

Drips near a vehicle’s bumper and the smell of coolant are a couple of signs that you need a new radiator.

If you smell something sweet when you get out of the car after driving it for a while, you probably have coolant leaking. 

Coolant fluid exchanges and different types of coolant

Every 30,000 miles, it’s a good idea to have a coolant fluid exchange, also known as a coolant flush — which is when coolant is drained from the system and replaced with new coolant. 

This service offers many benefits, including extending the lifespan of coolant and improving how well a vehicle performs.

How often you need a coolant fluid exchange also depends on the vehicle. Some manufacturers recommend them more often.

You can learn more about coolant flushes by reading this article we wrote.

We use the correct coolant for a vehicle. Even though the green coolant is pretty universal, not all vehicles work the best with it. Some European vehicles and Diesels use a different type of coolant. 

Sometimes, you might see Asian vehicles, such as Toyotas, with red coolant. Dye isn’t the only component that changes the coolant color. The type of antifreeze that helps protect the type of metal also impacts it. 

Getting a coolant flush or coolant exchange with a coupon may damage your car, unless the correct coolant is being used, like it is at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Like other parts and systems in your car, the cooling system needs to be maintained. Doing this and replacing your radiator when it’s needed can save you a lot of headache in the future.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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New differential housing needed after lack of maintenance

In Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A Chevy Tahoe is in need of a new differential housing.

The driver of the vehicle heard a grinding sound and decided to have it checked out.

Differential housing problems

Its differential gear lube was too low and the vehicle hadn’t been checked over a long period of time.

There wasn’t enough fluid to push up to the pinion bearing, which seized up on the pinion shaft and began to spin in the differential housing.

The pinion bearing also started hitting the carrier of the ring and pinion, which move the axles of the rear differential tires.

Having your vehicle checked regularly can prevent this issue and many others from occurring. It can also save you money by addressing minor problems early on.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Cooling systems on a BMW engine

In Cooling System by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Checking a BMW 650i Twin Turbo for a coolant leak or an engine overheating problem is a little more complicated than other vehicles.

They have a very tight engine compartment with lots of components close together, making access limited.

BMW 650i Twin Turbo cooling systems

There are two cooling systems on the BMW 650i Twin Turbo, so if you’re checking one, you want to make sure you’re checking the correct one or both of them.

On this particular vehicle, the small coolant hoses to the turbos is a common place where they leak engine coolant.

The parts from the dealer come with metal tubes that run down to the turbos, and that can be an 8 hour job.

Sometimes, you can get away with just replacing the rubber hoses that are visible on the top of the engine.

The BMW 650i Twin Turbo even has coolant hoses going to the injector drivers — which is an electronic component — and there are two under the hood.

So, if your BMW does have a coolant leak or the engine is overheating, you do need to get a proper pressure test, and this could take a little bit of time to find the leak.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Speed signs remind drivers to slow down

In Community Involvement by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Of course this video was meant to be silly.

However, there is an issue with people speeding through neighborhoods, especially those that connect with the Prince William Parkway, Route 234, Dale Boulevard and Hoadly Road.

The speed warning sign, like the one here on Hillendale Road, may not stop people from speeding. But it is a good reminder if you’re coming into a neighborhood from one of those major roads to lower your speed.

Impact of speed signs

Ever since the speed signs were put up, you can tell that traffic is a bit more controlled. I’ve been coming down this road for 20 years, and once those signs went up, it was a nice reminder for me to keep my speed down — as it is for many other drivers.

Fortunately, Supervisor Victor Angry has taken this issue to heart, and he has talked with us about his plan to bring traffic calming devices to the neighborhoods of the Neabsco District. He believes the devices will help improve safety for members of the community, especially the kids.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Steve’s Auto Repair seeking Service Advisor

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Do you have customer service experience? Are you looking to switch careers?

Come join the Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire team.

Service Advisor position available

The Woodbridge-based auto repair shop is looking for an entry level Auto Service Advisor. It’s seeking candidates who have a positive attitude, exceptional phone skills and computer knowledge.

Experience in the automotive industry isn’t required. Having customer service experience is a plus. Willingness to learn is a must.

Employees will be able to learn management skills through the full-time position. They would also receive fully paid health insurance, paid training, paid time off.

Questions and resumes may be sent to st@stevesautorepairva.com.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.